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"The Almighty has his own purposes. 'Woe unto

the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh.' If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offences which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through his appointed time, he now wills to remove, and that he gives to both North and South this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offence came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to him? Fondly do we hope - fervently do we pray that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, 'The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations.”

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Some of his frequent warnings about plans to kill him, Lincoln kept in his desk marked "Assassination Letters." He deemed it impossible to avoid this risk, and he took few steps for

protection, even when his dreams were of evil

omen.

On the last day of the President's life Grant arrived in Washington, and attended the cabinet meeting, where he showed some anxiety about Sherman. Lincoln assured him that there would soon be good news, as he had had his dream about the vessel, the same which had presaged Antietam, Murfreesboro, Gettysburg, and Vicksburg. Members of the cabinet looked impressed, but Grant replied simply that "Murfreesboro was no victory, and had no important results." He was not a poet, and the President, in his way, was.

He referred, a few days before the end, to the number of warnings by dream in the Bible, the book which had of late taken such a hold upon him. Finally he said: —

"About ten days ago, I retired very late. I had been up waiting for important despatches from the front. I could not have been long in bed when I fell into a slumber, for I was weary. I soon began to dream. There seemed to be a deathlike stillness about me. Then I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping. I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs. There the silence was broken by the same pitiful sobbing, but the mourners were invisible. I went from room to room; no living person was in sight, but the same mournful sounds of distress

met me as I passed along. It was light in all the rooms, every object was familiar to me; but where were all the people who were grieving as if their hearts would break? I was puzzled and alarmed. What could be the meaning of all this? Determined to find the cause of a state of things so mysterious and so shocking, I kept on until I arrived at the east room, which I entered. There I met with a sickening surprise. Before me was a catafalque, on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards; and there was a throng of people, some gazing mournfully upon the corpse, whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully. Who is dead in the White House?' I demanded of one of the soldiers. The President,' was his answer; 'he was killed by an assassin!' Then came a loud burst of grief from the crowd, which awoke me from my dream. I slept no more that night; and although it was only a dream, I have been strangely annoyed by it ever since."

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This dream continued to disturb him. A few days after, he said to Lamon: "To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there's the rub."

On the evening of April 14, Good Friday, he went to the theatre. In the door of his box a hole had been cut by a body of conspirators, so that the occupants could be watched. Just after

ten o'clock, John Wilkes Booth, an actor, entered the box, shot the President with a pistol in the back of the head, stabbed one of the theatre party who tried to stop him, and leaped upon the stage. In the folds of the American flag he caught his spur, and broke his leg. Limping across the stage, swinging his dagger, he cried, “Sic semper tyrannis," the motto of Virginia, and escaped, soon to be killed. The bullet, passing through the brain, left its victim unconscious, and at twenty-two minutes past seven on the following morning Abraham Lincoln was dead.

CHAPTER XVII

A LAST WORD

VICTORY and death were needed to give Lincoln immediately his place at home and abroad. Criticism subsided and appreciation began. From that day to this the tide has flowed without an ebb. Immediately after the assassination the extreme radicals the men of more heat than judgment, of more self-appreciation than patience - were pleased, and they alone. When the President had been one day dead the committee on the conduct of the war called upon the new President, and Senator Wade said: "Johnson, we have faith in you. By the gods, there will be no trouble now. in running the government!"

There was trouble, however, and the country is not proud of the men who undertook to do what Lincoln was prevented from doing.

The funeral was on the 19th, and behind the coffin, at the head of the line, marched a detachment of negro troops. Two days the body lay in state, while the people came to the capital to look their last on Lincoln's face. The body rests in Springfield, the town in which the President had made the beginnings of his fame.

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